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Narrow Is The Way - Pastor Stacey Shiflett



Narrow Is the Way

Matthew 7

·        13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

·        14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

 

The Way is Narrow because of…

 

I. The Exclusivity of Christ

 

Illustration: The idea behind the idiomatic phrase “all roads lead to Rome” is the capital city of Rome itself and how it was once considered the center of the world.

The origin stems from the fact that Rome was a major city and the hub of trade, politics, and culture. Plus, a vast series of major roads and paths made up the city as well as surrounded it, all leading to its center. Therefore, all roads led to the ancient city of Rome in some way.

Some say the proverb all roads lead to Rome may be derived from a phrase coined by French poet Alain de Lille in the Middle Ages in 1175: “mille vie ducunt hominem per secula Romam,” which means “a thousand roads lead a man forever toward Rome.”

We often use the phrase to describe a situation where different paths or approaches lead to the same outcome. You can apply it many aspects from your personal life to work and more.

 

All roads may have led to Rome at some point in time, but all roads have NEVER led to Heaven!

Mohommed cannot save a lost soul.

Buddha cannot save a lost soul.

The Bible is clear: Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven.

The way is narrow because there is only one option.

 

John 14

·        5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?

·        6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

 

John 10

·        7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.

·        8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.

·        9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

 

·        Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

 

·        Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

 

·        Isaiah 43:11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.

 

II. The Exclusions of the City

 

Contrary to public opinion, not everyone that dies goes to Heaven.

I cannot remember the last time I conducted a funeral where the family agreed that the deceased was lost.

For some reason, no matter how that person lived or died, they are all in Heaven.

No matter how sinful and wicked they lived, they are in a better place.

The text in Matthew 7 this morning is clear:

  • 13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

·        14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

 

Our church is surrounded by cemeteries and graveyards.

Statistically, many of those graves mark the resting place of souls in hell.

Few of those graves signify those that found the strait and narrow way.

That is what Jesus Christ said.

·        It doesn’t matter how religious that person was.

·        It doesn’t matter if they had a family Bible on the coffee table.

·        It doesn’t matter if they wore a cross necklace.

·        It doesn’t matter if they went to church from time to time or prayed every now and then.

None of that matters if they had never been born again.

Notice the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:

·        Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

 

Revelation 21

  • 23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

  • 24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

  • 25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

  • 26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.

·        27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

 

Revelation 22

·        14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

·        15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

 

III. The Expectation of the Convert

 

·        Matthew 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

 

The sinner is expected to:

 

               A. Realize their Spiritual Condition

Before you can be saved, you must realize that you are lost and in need of salvation.

Romans 3

·        10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

·        11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

·        12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

·        23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

 

·        Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

 

               B. Repent and turn to Jesus Christ

Many people today denounce the biblical doctrine of repentance.

Their definition of repentance is to simply turn from unbelief to belief.

Their idea of repentance is to believe.

Let me explain something to you.

The Bible is clear – the demons and devils of hell believe!

·        James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

 

Over and over and over again in Scripture, we find that those that would be saved MUST repent!

 

John the Baptist expected it.

Matthew 3:8

  • 7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

  • 8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance;

 

Jesus expected it.

  • Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

  • Luke 13:5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

  • Luke 5:32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

  • Luke 15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

 

Luke 24

  • 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

  • 46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

  • 47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

  • 48 And ye are witnesses of these things.

 

Peter expected it.

  • Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

 

Paul expected it.

  • Acts 26:20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

 

God expects it.

  • Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

  • 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

 

               C. Recognize that Jesus is the Only Way.

Acts 16

  • 30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

  • 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

 

Romans 10

·        8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

·        9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

·        10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

·        11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

·        12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

·        13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

 

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